There are many cases of people in happy marriages who have a great partner, amazing children, successful careers, loyal friends and still feel like there is something missing from their lives. They have a partner who is an attentive, charming, fit, beautiful, kind, and amazing lover and parent, and yet still get attracted to someone completely opposite who threats to destroy everything they’ve built.
When marriage was invented, so was adultery. In the US, when an affair happens, everyone is concerned for the victim of the betrayal, because affairs are the grand destroyers of the perception of romantic love and the hopes of happily ever after. Infidelity, when it occurs, comes as a shock that shatters everything and makes us question our past, present, future, and our identity as well.
All kinds of betrayals hurt. But a betrayal from a romantic partner and spouse cuts like a knife and leaves wounds everywhere. And because of social media, this pain would be felt over and over again thanks to the reminders of text messages, pictures, and any kind of electronic evidence the victim finds in the phone of their beloved.
Understandably, our culture is more empathetic towards the jilted. However, psychologists teach us that in the wake of an affair, it is essential to see the affair from both sides. After all, they say affairs can reveal a lot about marriage and partnerships and even improve them in some way. And here’s why I don’t agree with them.
They say that affairs are not what they used to be in the past because the course of marriage has changed drastically over the years. In the past, marriage ensured economic stability, while today most couples don’t marry for economic gains, but to have a companion for life. So, today, marriage is not based on obligation and duty, but on respect, affection, and love.
When we get married, we expect our partner to still have the traditional values such as security, property, respectability, and children, but we also want them to be our lover, best friend, confidant, partner-in-crime, and the love of our life.
We want passion, novelty, fun, comfort, mystery, stability, adventure, and familiarity. We are also living in an age where we no longer consider sex as something sinful. Whereas in the past, people got married and had sex, now we get married and stop having sex with other people. We have already been dating, hooked up, lived together, been in a relationship, and broken up many times…
Now, when partners are saying their wedding vows, they swear to always be there for each other in good and bad, sickness and health, wealth and poverty… They promise to be faithful and love each other forever. So, in such bliss, the question arises: Why do they cheat? Especially if they say their marriage is a happy one…